A post-Brexit trade deal between Canada and the UK has been reached, as Justin Trudeau and Boris Johnson pledge to deepen their relationship on environmental issues.
Liz Truss, Secretary of International Trade, secured agreement on Saturday with Canada’s “friend and ally” in a move that should pave the way for negotiations on a tailor-made agreement between the two countries next year.
The environment, digital commerce and women’s economic empowerment are some of the possible areas of collaboration in future discussions.
The formal agreement in principle between the UK and Canada ensures certainty for UK companies trading goods and services with Canada worth £ 20 billion.
During a four-way Zoom video call, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Trudeau, Ms. Truss and her Canadian counterpart Mary Ng, has decided to renew the current trade agreements between the EU and Canada and to start negotiations on a new tailor-made agreement in 2021.
The Ministry of International Trade said he was avoiding around £ 42million tariffs that UK exporters would have had to face had the government failed to strike a deal.
Industry groups have expressed relief that companies will not face higher trade tariffs with Canada next month.
Federation of Small Business President Mike Cherry said: “There was always a risk that the end of the transition period would mean the loss of the broader international market access that we enjoy under the accession to the EU.
“The fact that this new agreement confirms the chapter on small businesses that was previously in place is very welcome. We hope these chapters will be at the center of all future UK trade agreements.”
Confederation of British Industry chief executive Josh Hardie said it was “great news for business” and that the deal could “lay the groundwork for an even deeper trade deal”.
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said: “Today’s deal supports £ 20 billion in trade and secures thousands of jobs.
“We look forward to entering into a new, more ambitious agreement next year with the aim of creating more opportunities for business and improving the lives of people across the country.”
Prior to its formal signing, the UK-Canada Continuity of Trade Agreement will undergo final legal checks.